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Dia de Los Muertos celebrations

By Karen Painter - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 18, 2022
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Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday when family and friends gather to remember and honor deceased loved ones. There are two festivals to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Ogden this fall.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EN OGDEN

This festival is put on by Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music (OFOAM), in partnership with Ogden School District.

“It is a much-needed event in Ogden, as 32% of our population is Latinx or Hispanic. It’s a great way to bring a sense of belonging to everyone, including those who might live in the shadows — our undocumented immigrants,” said Arlene Anderson, Dia de Los Muertos en Ogden chairperson.

The free event will feature a mercadito vendor market, food trucks, a student art and music showcase by our Ogden school district students, a Spanish-language film festival, and the Ogden Midnight Runners Car Show. “We are honored to have a local Hispanic artist making paper masks for the children,” Anderson said.

In addition, Ogden School District will hold workshops for parents from 12 p.m.-8 p.m. through their program Parenting Elevated. Classes will cover topics from communication and higher education to mental, social, and emotional health. “We are excited to be face-to-face this year and able to offer an array of classes and resources to help meet the needs of our students and their families, empowering them through education,” said Ogden Diversity Commissioner and Equity and Access Parent and Family Engagement Supervisor Monica Gil.

The event’s main attraction will be the music headliner Suenatron, playing at 7 p.m., sponsored by OFOAM. The group has been together for 10 years and plays a combination of pop, cumbia, norteño, and rap. Two of the band members are brothers, Mexia and Giovanni Hernandez, who have followed in the footsteps of their father, Heran Hernandez, of the Los Tigres Del Norte. Portions of any donations at the event will go to the Dreamers Award, scholarships for undocumented students.

“Education is so important. Some students in our district may not have access to scholarships, yet would like to further their education after high school. Many times, they are the first generation of college-bound students in their families,” Anderson said.

Saturday, October 8, from 12 p.m.-10 p.m., at Ben Lomond High School (1080 9th Street), free.

DAY OF THE DEAD, YEAR 4

The event is hosted by Nurture the Creative Mind, Wimpy & Fritz, Ogden Union Station, and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.

“This is our fourth year. We have a community altar, or ofrenda, where anyone can come and participate. They can bring a gift or a token to honor and remember the loved one that has passed. They can also bring letters or photos,” said Amir Jackson, committee member and owner of Nurture the Creative Mind. “The ofrenda will be placed two weeks before the event for community members to add to it,” Jackson added.

The committee will also place five large 4½-foot fiberglass skulls around Ogden. “They are like the horses placed around town each summer for the rodeo. They will be hand-painted by community members,” Jackson said.

The event will feature food trucks, vendors selling handmade crafts, live performances by local ballet and lyrical dance groups, and local salsa bands Rumba Libre and Cumbia Llegal. Fredo Rivera of Legacy Tattoo will host a car show, and there will also be an art exhibit submitted by Latin and Hispanic community members at Union Station.

“In addition, there will be an art display of 25 different ofrendas decorated by individuals specifically for their family members,” Jackson said.

At the end of the evening, there will be a community candlelit vigil. “Some words will be spoken by community poets, and then we will have a moment of silence for our loved ones who have passed,” Jackson said.

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